Bouchra Ouizguen talks about Ha! for Crossing the Line

Moroccan choreographer Bouchra Ouizguen explores madness and more in her new Ha! for Crossing the Line



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Time Out New York: Did you become intrigued by madness because of these rituals?
Bouchra Ouizguen:
No. [Laughs] The interest in madness is a bit older. I was hearing this word often in describing a female artist, and I was questioning that. What is the reason that it is the first adjective that comes out every time you speak about a woman artist? That is also an initial idea.

Time Out New York: What kind of artist? In dance or another discipline?
Bouchra Ouizguen:
All female artists, especially in contemporary art. Having the liberty to interpret this ritual is a kind of mad thing actually. We were really transported by what we saw. It’s a brilliant thing to convey to an audience, but at the same time it’s also an act of madness.

Time Out New York: Have you ever been described as being mad?
Bouchra Ouizguen:
All the time.

Time Out New York: Are your performers singing and moving? How have they developed since Madame Plaza?
Bouchra Ouizguen:
Madame Plaza was a chance for us to meet and to encounter each other. Now the encounter has happened. There is nothing in the space that is used as a prop. The show is really carried by every dancer and their solitude and their own work as a singer and as a dancer. So Madame Plaza was an introduction for them—for a new way of working together and a new style. For this new piece, there is obviously the continuity of this research in the movement. For the last piece, people were asking where these women came from individually, whereas here there is no need to question this. There is a strength in the group.

Time Out New York: And you developed that strength by spending so much time together?
Bouchra Ouizguen:
Yes. You just described what the piece is about: Strengthening the relationships is important. Creating a show is really about continuing this process of knowing someone better.

Time Out New York: How willing were the women to work with you again?
Bouchra Ouizguen:
I cannot work with anyone else but them. [Laughs] But they can’t either. Five years ago, I was not just looking for performers for a piece. I really was looking for traveling companions. Now I have found them, and I cannot say when it will stop. It’s really difficult to just move on. The most important things are happening off the stage.
Bouchra Ouizguen performs Ha! at New York Live Arts September 27 and 28.

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